Monday, December 12, 2011

Ecofriendly Holidays

Piles of used gift wrap, tangled lights that don't work, and heaps of plastic plates at the office holiday party have become a staple of the holidays. It's not hard to believe that Americans dispose of an additional 5 million tons of trash between Thanksgiving and New Years.  That's a 25% increase, but there's ways that you can help to minimize holiday waste without sacrificing fun or tradition.

  • Look for gifts that are durable, repairable, or recyclable, with minimal plastic packaging
  • Shop locally, or consider fair trade purchases
  • Give someone a membership to a museum or institute, plant a tree in their name, or consider purchasing a gift from Heifer International or Oxfam America
  • Recycle by wrapping gifts using sheet  music or colorful magazine ads- you'll save money, too!
Holiday Cheer
  • It takes 7-10 years to grow a Christmas tree- which is usualy useful for about one month. Consider purchasing a potted tree that can be kept alive outdoors throughout the year.
  • Ingredients for holiday meals usually travel about 1200 miles before showing up on our tables. That transit takes a lot of fuel and a lot of refrigeration. Purchasing locally-grown and in-season items can cut down on this behind-the-scenes waste.
Looking for more ways to make the holidays eco-friendly? Visit Ecology Center for a more complete list.